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A Statement of Facts and of 
Causes of the Arab-Jewish 
Conflict in the Holy Land 

Issued by 







A Statement of Facts and of 
Causes of the Arab-Jewish 
Conflict in the Holy Land 

Issued by 





1. Introduction ..'..■ 3 

2. Palestine and Its People 5 

3. The Arabs of Palestine 11 

4. The Jews: Their Right and Claim to Palestine 15 

5. Zionism 18 

6. The British in Palestine and the Balfour Promise 

7. The Mandate 

8. The Present Revolt in Palestine 




9. Arab Claims and Demands . . .1 40 

10. Whither Palestine? . .... \ .... 42 
Bibliography ">--.. . 43 


I ntroductlon 

DURING the last two decades the attention of the world has 
been directed to Palestine. Not merely for spiritual guid- 
ance nor as an inspiration for world peace has public attention 
been directed to that ancient land. Palestine has been heard of 
as a region of strife and bloodshed. Moveover, much that has 
been written and said about Palestine and its present troubles 
has come to the reader from prejudiced sources. Little is known 
of what has been written and said by impartial observers— men 
and women without an "axe to grind" and much of the truth has 
escaped the average reader. It is hard for people in the United 
States and in western Europe to obtain accurate data about 
recent events in the land which is sacred and holy to Christians, 
jews and Moslems alike. Despite a general wish for impartial 
information the public is beset by the forces of emotion and 
sentiment now rampant in the world at large. And those who 
insist on impartial judgments are often themselves victims of 
emotion, sentiment and prejudice. It is high time that the in- 
telligent and truth-seeking minority of responsible individuals 
should be made acquainted with the facts about current con- 
ditions in Palestine. 

Those facts are not entirely available to the English-speaking 
world because the press of Europe and America is largely dom- 
inated by British and Zionist interests. But there is another 
side to the Palestinian question. There is the Arab side. But 
little of the Arab side reaches us because of European prejudice 
and our general unfamiliarity with the Arabic tongue, 

In depicting international matters it is unwise to misrepre- 
sent the facts or evade the truthful issue. Untruths and evasions 
are boomerangs. Distortions of fact and mendacious propa- 
ganda affect their authors as well as their intended victims. Thus 
are seeds of hatred and prejudice foolishly sown by the pur- 
veyors of false ideas and twisted facts. 

In preparing this pamphlet the Arab National League of 
America has sincerely tried to be objective; to state the facts 


impartially; to avoid controversial matters whose truth or 
falsity is beyond human verification. The League is trying to 
rest its appeal upon the merits of the case without resort to 
common prejudice and common misinformation. Further, no 
attempt is made herein to raise more issues than already exist, 
nor to stress unduly past grievances and errors. 

In issuing this pamphlet the League hopes that it is serving, 
not only the cause of Arabs and Jews everywhere, but also the 
causes of justice, democracy and world peace. 

It is, in brief, the wish of the Arab National League of 
America that this pamphlet will reach many open minds regard- 
less of racial and religious affiliations. The League is concerned 
not only with the cogent problem here presented, but also with 
the largest problem of our time— the problem of securing 
"Peace on earth and eood will to all men." 

Palestine and Its People 

PRIOR to the World War and the creation of the mandate 
system, Palestine, Syria and Transjordan were, from time 
immemorial, all one country known as Syria; and its inhabi- 
tants were known as Syrians. Although the terms "Syrians" and 
"Arabs" are used synonymously, the latter name is now applied 
to the non-Jewish population of Palestine. 

The area of Palestine, excluding Transjordan, is approxi- 
mately 10,100 square miles (6,464,000 acres or 25,856,000 du- 
nams), that is about the size of the state of New Hampshire and 
not unlike it in shape. 

In the census of 1931, the population of Palestine is given as 
1,035,821, composed as follows: 

Moslems (Arabs) 759,7 1 2 

Jews 174,610 

Christians (Arabs) 91,398 

The balance is composed of Druses, Europeans, Americans and 
other nationalities. 

Since 1931 the population has reached approximately 1,400,- 
000 of which about 375,000 are Jews. This increase was brought 
about partly by natural growth but, chiefly by mass immigra- 
tion of Jews. 

With a birth rate about twice the death rate, the present 
population will double itself, without the addition of one im- 
migrant, in about tw r enty-five years. 

The density of the population is about 140 persons per square 
mile compared with about 41 per square mile in the United 

Palestine has no industrial or agricultural possibilities for 
any nation to envy or covet. Generally speaking, it is a moun- 
tainous plateau and less than half of its total area is arable. It 
has no forests, minerals, great rivers or lakes, and its rainfall is 
scanty. It can safely be said that Palestine has no worthwhile 
natural resources and that at no time can it support its present 
population without help from outside sources. 


Yet despite its small size and meagre natural resources Pales- 
tine has from the dawn of time made more history than any 
other country and will, perhaps, continue to do so for a long 
time to come. 

Although the land has great religious and historical import- 
ance yet it is not these values which explain the interests of 
Western Imperialism in its "freedom." Not because of "oil 
fields," or "natural resources," or "the welfare of its inhabi- 
tants" are Western Imperialists concerned with ruling the land, 
but because Palestine is near the Suez Canal and the road to 

In regard to the land of Palestine it is generally conceded that 
agriculture is the backbone of the country and the "sheet- 
anchor" of most of its inhabitants. 

Some facts and opinions about the agricultural possibilities of 
Palestine may be gathered from the following references: 

W. E. Hocking (The Spirit of World Politics, page 340) says: 
"About half of the total area of Palestine is reckoned as culti- 
vable. And of this half, barely more than a third, i. e., one-sixth 
of the whole area, with irrigation and drainage, can be con- 
sidered fairly good valley land, including both light and heavy 

According to the Joint Palestine Survey conducted in 1928 
(under the auspices of the Zionist Organization) there are 
about four million dunams (one million acres) of such good 
valley land. In 1930 the Commissioner of Lands reported 
slightly over twelve million dunams (three million acres) as the 
entire cultivable area throughout the country. 

In 1927 the investigators who had studied agricultural colo- 
nization by authority of The Joint Palestine Survey Commis- 
sion found much overcrowding in the Zionist settlements. They 
recommended 60 acres as the minimum lot viable for dry farm- 
ing and 20 acres for irrigated land. 

,. The official committee which, in 1930, reported on the eco- 
nomic condition of agriculture in Palestine, concluded that to 
provide a minimum living for the family of an owner-cultivator 
about 19, acres are necessary; while for the family of a tenant 
who must give up part of his income for rent about 30 acres 
are essential. 


Hocking (in the above-mentioned book, page 341) states: 
"But we must again consider: it is not 160,000 Jews who are 
engaged in agriculture, but only some 33,000: the rest are urban. 
It is one-thirtieth of the population that are holding that fifth 
of the best land, and it is not enough for them— by far not 

And so what will be said when the number of Jews has in- 
creased from 160,000 to 375,000?. If the number of Jewish far- 
mers has increased in the same ratio there must be about 75,000 
Jews engaged in agriculture today. Yet the entire number of 
parcels of land available for both Jews and Arabs is estimated 
at between 75,000 and 100,000. ,v 

1.1 | |4 ^ 

Palestine is primarily an agricultural country. There are a 
few industries, but these are in an early stage of development 
and have to depend largely on protection. Most of the manu- 
facturing industries are Jewish, but even so they cannot compete 
with industry in neighboring Syria and other countries. Raw 
materials must be imported copiously for industry. In conse- 
quence imports into Palestine exceed exports to the rest of the 
world, and so the land suffers from a chronically unfavorable 
trade balance. 

In the review "Palestine and Transjordan" (June 13, 1936) 
this matter of industry in Palestine is well summed up as fol- 

'Considerable attention has been given for some time, in Jew- 
ish industrial circles, to criticizing the Palestine-Syria Trade 
agreement of 1929, by virtue of which goods produced in either 
country are to be admitted into the other free of import duty. 
The agreement, had been concluded with the view to facilitate 
and increase trade between the two countries. This matter was 
specifically envisaged in the Mandate, and while the first part 
of Art. 18 prevented the Mandatory from any discrimination 
against goods originating in, or destined for, any of the State 
members of the League, the last part of the article allowed the 
government to "conclude a special agreement with any State, 
the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic 



" 1,055,617 


" 1,035,411 


" 1,016,948 






". 1,083,095 


" 1,310,363 

The trade statistics with Syria show the following figures: 

Year Imports from Syria Exports to Syria 

1928 LP 944,711 LP 358,087 


The special interest taken by Jewish industrial circles in this 
Trade Agreement has been due to the fact that Jewish industries 
have so far been unable to command a sufficient market in Syria 
and Lebanon, in spite of the many ways and means used to reach 
this end. 

In a recent article published in the "Palestine Review," Dr. 
Alfred Marcus gives a clear summary of the trade in "industrial 
goods" between the two countries, and explains that the expec- 
tations of a rapid expansion of Palestinian trade in the Syrian 
market have been disappointing. 

There is ample proof that Palestine's industries, which are 
mostly Jewish, have not been able to command markets in 
Syria or other parts of the Near East; and Dr. Marcus has stated 
frankly that Syrian competition is becoming a serious obstacle 
to the industrial development of Palestine; also that agriculture 
has to contend with the growing menace of Syrian competition. 

In view of this situation, Jewish industrialists are perplexed. 
They do not suggest that the whole agreement should be abol- 
ished, but they propose, for instance, that Syrian manufactured 
goods like cement, boots and shoes, beer and other things, should 
be taxed at the general rate of customs duty. 

The real facts about Jewish industry, as shown by the expert 
reports, are simply amazing. According to Sir John Hope 
Simpson the average number of persons employed in industries 
in 1928 was only 5.1 per establishment. After reviewing the 
condition of Jewish industries up to 1930 he says, "there is not 
any reason to believe that Palestine offers special attractions to 
large industrial concerns. The industries likely to succeed are 


those that are based on local products, or, being based on im- 
ported products, show special vitality." As to the existing in- 
dustries, thanks are due to the high protective tariffs accorded 
them by Government. The same report, says on this point, "it 
is clear that the 'Nesher' Cement Factory is dependent on pro- 
tection not only for its profits, but for its existence. It could 
not compete with imported cement were the protective tariff 
withdrawn. The withdrawal of the duty on imported oilseeds 
appeared to be a necessity to the success of the 'Shemen' oil fac- 
tory. The Cellars of Richon-Le-Zion and Zichron-Jacob owe 
their very existence, not to economic action, but to the liberality 
and interest of Baron Edmond de Rothschild. The industry con- 
tinues to prosper by reason of the protective duties on imported 
wines and spirits . . . The rest of the population is taxed in order 
that the proprietors of these industrial concerns may be in a po- 
sition to pay the wages of their laborers and to make a profit for 

Some idea of recent Jewish immigration into Palestine may 
be gathered from the following figures; On September 1, 1922, 
there were 158,000 Jews in the country. At the end of 1935 
there were 375,000. This abnormal influx of Jews in 13 years 
represents an increase of 237 per cent. It is known that in the 
three-year period 1933-1935 nearly 180,000 Jews entered the coun- 
try, of whom only 136,000 could have done so legally. 

While no exact figures as to unemployment in Palestine are 
available it is possible to form some idea of Arab unemployment 
from the landless condition of those people. The following facts 
relevant to this matter are taken from "The Palestine Arab 
Cause" by T. Canaan, 1936: 

"29.4 per cent of all Arab families are landless. An area of 
at least 130 dunams is required to maintain a fellah family in 
a decent standard of life. But in reality every Arab family has, 
if the available land should be divided among the Arab families, 
only 90 dunams. Not a single Arab farmer who held less than 
] 20 dunams was able to live on the produce of his farm without 
outside employment. (See White Paper, 1930, and the John 
Hope Simpson Report, p. 64.) Moreover, it is well known that 
recent Jewish settlers are expected and, indeed, obligated to 


hire only Jewish labor. The Keren-Kaymeth lease contains the 
following clause: 

"The lessee undertakes to execute all works connected 
with the cultivation of the holding only with Jewish 
labor. Failure to comply with this duty by the employ- 
ment of non-Jewish labor shall render the lessee liable 
to the payment of a compensation of ten Palestinian 
pounds for each default . . . Where the lessee has contra- 
vened the provisions of this article three times, the fund 
may apply the right of restitution of the holding, without 
paying any compensation whatever." 

Since the publication of the Simpson Report (1930) no less 
than 500,000 dunams of land have been sold to the Jews. Thus 
Arabs increasingly find themselves without land and without 
the right to work upon it, even for hire. 


The Arabs of Palestine 

LT ISTORY and archeology clearly demonstrate that the 
* ■*- "Arabs" of Palestine are a mixed race. Many of them 
can be traced to several races that occupied the country long 
before the Hebrew invasion, such as the Moabites, the Jebusites, 
Hittites, the Philistines, and the Canaanites. Professor Elihu 
Grant, the well-known archeologist states: 

"This will be seen to be an essay in understanding of an 
almost forgotten folk, the native Canaanite peasantry of 
Palestine, the majority population for thousands of years, 
a farming people of whom about one hundred thousand 
still remain Christians today, while six or seven hundred 
thousands are Moslems. 

"Brilliant personalities have come from this peasantry, 
but I have chosen the simplest of their class, a decent 
country-folk, sound in body and mind, patient and patri- 
otic, the basic stock of the country." 

It should also be noted that at no time did the Hebrews con- 
quer or occupy all of Palestine. The Philistines were never con- 
quered but remained masters of their portion of the land long 
after the fall of the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of 
Israel. It is the irony of history that the land of Israel should 
be called Palestine after the Philistines, the arch enemies of the 

Palestine was also invaded by Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, Greece, 
and Rome. Under all of these occupations and at all times 
there lived in some sections of Palestine other races besides the 
Hebrews. Of all these races, the Hebrews alone were taken into 
captivity. None of the other races were carried away from the 
land, or exterminated at the hands of ruthless conquerors. 
About the time of Christ and under the Romans, the Gentile 
population of Palestine was very large. 

Jerusalem fell to Titus in 70 A.D., and in 135 A.D. Hadrian 
expelled all of the Jews from Jerusalem and forbade them to 

Hebrew influence on the races of Palestine was negligible. In 
fact these races exercised more influence on the Hebrews. Since 


the time of Christ and after, the language spoken by the Jews of 
Palestine was Aramaic and not Hebrew. The latter was used 
in the synagogue and for religious ceremonies only. 

Up to the Arab conquest the country remained part of the 
Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and was predominantly Christian. 

In August 636 A.D. the Arabs under Omar won a historic 
victory at the battle of Yarmoiik and wrested the country from 
the Byzantines. The Covenant of Omar guaranteed full liberty 
to the "inhabitants of Aelia (Jerusalem), to all of them without 
distinction, be they well disposed or ill disposed." This docu- 
ment which was signed by Omar and witnessed by four of his 
generals is a shining example of Arab tolerance and statesman 
ship which may well be emulated by British diplomats. Fifteen 
years later, a Nestorian bishop wrote: "These Arabs to whom 
God has given the power nowadays, do not fight Christianity. 
In fact, they protect our belief, respect our priests and holy men 
and give presents to our churches and monasteries." 

The benevolent rule of the Arabs continued until 1516 A.D. 
when the country became part of the Turkish Empire. 

The story of the Crusaders in the 11th and 12th centuries is 
too well known to warrant repetition here. However, it is in- 
teresting to mention that, in spite of their defeat by Saladin, 
many of the Crusaders settled in the country. Marriages be- 
tween them and the native population were frequent as is evi- 
denced by European features not uncommon in Palestine today- 

Thus, for at least the last 1300 years Palestine has been an 
Arab country. 

From the above it is evident that the Palestine Arab is not 
the wandering nomad that Zionist propagandists have portrayed 
to the western world. He has clung tenaciously to the land 
which he has dearly loved and valiantly defended. Turkish rule 
made little impression on Arab Palestine except in hindering its 
progress. The Palestine Arab is heir to a rich heritage with a 
tradition of chivalry, courage, culture, hospitality and tolerance. 
Between the 7th and Mth centuries the Arab Empire was in its 
golden era and the Arabs, who ruled an area greater than the 
Roman Empire, were the custodians of learning and civilization. 
Scholars, many of them Jews, flocked from all parts of the world 

[12 1 

to Arab seats of learning, where they were cordially received, 
irrespective of race or religion, as pointed out by George Dorsey. 
Numerous Arabic texts were translated into European languages, 
thus rendering possible the great Renaissance. The Canon of 
Ibn Sina (Avicenna) was used as a textbook in medical schools 
up to the 17th century. To-day Arab young men and women 
are nocking to western universities, and through them the West 
is paying its debt to the East by furthering the Arab renaissance. 
Six or seven hundred Palestine Arab students annually attend 
European and American institutions of learning, particularly 
the American University of Beirut, Syria. The influence of these 
students is strongly felt in the cultural, social, economic and 
political life of the country. Professor Hocking, in his book 
"The Spirit of World Politics" states: "In thinking of Palestinian 
Arabs we must remember their notables, their scholars, their 
tradesmen and their artisans with innate deftness and sense of 
beauty, as well as their farmers, shepherds, nomads." Sir John 
Hope Simpson says of the fellah (peasant): "He is a competent 
and capable agriculturalist." 

Considering his meager land resources, and the lack of modern 
agricultural implements at his disposal, the Palestine Arab fellah 
has fared remarkably well in comparison with American farmers 
of the middle west, millions of whom are facing destitution and 
have to depend on government subsidy for their bare livelihood. 

Zionist leaders have frequently attempted to justify their in- 
vasion of Palestine by pointing out the material improvement 
in the status of the Arab. It is well to state, however, that a 
great deal of this improvement is due to Arab initiative which 
had been held in check by Turkish misrule, and is now assert- 
ing itself. The improvement in hospital, sanitation, and educa- 
tional facilities has been brought about by the British adminis- 
tration aided by the American Friends, the Church Missionary 
Society of England, and other European philanthropic organ- 
izations. Malarial extermination was commenced by the Rocke- 
feller Foundation before the War. The rise in wages of Arab 
labor, as of American labor, is largely due to a world wide rise 
in the cost of living. The Arab has benefitted little by Zionist 
economic improvements and is denied employment in Jewish 


undertakings, and membership in Jewish labor unions and 
marketing cooperatives. 

His own culture is largely sufficient for him, and efficient 
in providing him with an adequate livelihood. The Arab wishes 
to be left alone and free to avail himself of such external bene- 
fits of western civilization as he is ready to absorb and assimilate. 
In fact, the Arabs have long been in contact with western civil- 
ization, culture, and science. They do not need the intervention 
of others to acquaint them with much that they already know, 
and they value their independence far above any alleged ma- 
terial benefits, and are not willing to sell their birthright for 
an economic "mess of pottage." 

[ 14 

The Jews: Their Right and Claim 
to Palestine 

THE very name "Palestine" clearly indicates the non- Jewish 
origin of its original settlers. Today the land is of- 
ficially called "Filstin"— a name plainly suggestive of the Phil- 
istine ethnic element. The Hebrew occupancy of the land did 
not include Philistia and was never very secure because of tribal 
differences among the Hebrews themselves and because of the 
Babylonian conquest which followed. After the return from the 
Babylonian captivity there were other further difficulties for the 
Hebrews (or Jews as they were now called) owing to the thrust 
of neighboring civilizations upon them. Then came the dias- 
pora, a dispersion which continued for many centuries. 

And so the history of the Hebrews is but a brief episode of 
semi-tribal existence among more firmly established civilizations. 
Never were the Hebrews long in peaceful possession of the land 
of Palestine because they lacked political coherence and basic 
tribal unity. The Hebrew kingdom which was established about 
1095 B. C. lasted less than a hundred years and was torn by in- 
ternal strife into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. 

The Jewish claim to Palestine rests on a religious-biblical 
dogma that is not binding on those who cannot accept it by 
reason of different belief. In the real world of practical, polit- 
ical and ethnic values, claims are based upon long established 
legal titles. Whatever sovereign claims the Hebrews had some 
two thousand years ago to the land of Palestine have long since 
vanished. Those claims have long since lapsed, according to 
modern international concepts of national title to land. And 
this is true not only of the modern Jews but of other racial 
minorities who have made analogous claims to other parts of 
the world. 

As an example of a spurious championing of such claims one 
may cite the case of David Lloyd George who once considered 
the occupation of Upper Silesia by the Germans for a period of 
three hundred years sufficient ground for the post-war German 

F 15 1 

claim to that territory. That claim was not unreasonable. Yet 
it was the same Lloyd George who denied the validity of the 
Arab claim to Palestine after an occupation of nearly two thou- 
sand years. It was the same Lloyd George whose government 
was responsible for the Balfour Declaration. 

The basic inadequacy of the modern Jewish claim to Pales- 
tine is well set forth by H. G. Wells, who says in his Outline of 
History that the great Solomon was a petty chieftain and that 
his kingdom was but "A pawn between Phoenicia and Egypt." 
Wells also says, "For three centuries the life of the Hebrews was 
like the life of a man who insists upon living in the middle of 
a busy thoroughfare, and is consequently being run over con- 
stantly by omnibuses and motor-lorries." 

Again Lewis Browne, a Jewish author, states in his book 
"Stranger Than Fiction" that at its zenith the Jewish Kingdom 
was but "a doormouse compared to the mighty empires of Egypt 
and Babylonia." 

These Jewish claims have no doubt been thoughtlessly rein 
forced by many Christians who have been influenced by the 
Bible— a book necessarily favorable to the Jewish people. 

The impertinency of the Jewish claim to modern Palestine was 
well set forth by the late Morris Jastrow in his Book "Zionism 
and the Future of Palestine." On page 27 of that book he says: 
"It is a fact of the utmost significance that the great contribution 
of the Jews to the world's spiritual treasury was made not while 
the national life was flourishing, but as it was ebbing away. The 
prophets with their revolutionary doctrines made their appear- 
ance when the southern Kingdom was beginning to show symp- 
toms of decline, and the movement reached its height after this 
kingdom had disappeared and the national existence of the 
southern Kingdom was threatened. The religion of the Prophets 
is the swan song of ancient Hebraism, and the example of a 
people flourishing without a national background had to be 
furnished to the world in order to bring the new conception or 
religion to fruition, which divorced religion from nationality and 
made it solely the expression of the individual's aspiration for 
the higher life and for communion with the source of all being. 
The ancient Hebrews disappeared. It was the Jews, as we 


should call the people after the Babylonian exile, who survived, 
and they survived despite the fact that they never recovered 
their national independence in the full sense of the word." 

Speaking of this perennial Jewish claim to the land of Palest- 
tine Hocking (The Spirit of World Politics, p. 375) says: "If 
one seeks to accent this claim by the statement that the Jews 
were 'driven out' of their homeland, the assumption is that 
conquest gives no rights; and in that case the British have no 
right to dispose of the land from which they have driven out the 
Turks." Hocking also refers to the fact that the Jews were 
never forcibly exiled except during the years 628-635 A.D. under 
the emperor Heraclius. Apart from that forcible exile many 
never left Palestine and those who left did so voluntarily. 




ry ION ISM was originally a religious movement seeking to ac- 
*-** celerate or exploit the fulfillment of the biblical promise 
that some day Jehovah's people would be restored to their land 
—Palestine. Among orthodox Jews to this day it is believed that 
this restoration is only to be achieved through divine interven- 
tion and not by the secular "mighty arm" of any terrestrial na- 
tion. In any case it is unlikely that the Prophets of tne Old 
Testament thought of such restoration in terms of some mun- 
dane effort to be made two thousand years or so after their time. 

During the latter part of the nineteenth century Europe ex- 
perienced a minor wave of anti-Semitism. Under those circum- 
stances there arose such Zionists as Leo Pinsker, Moses Hess, 
Kalischer and Theodore Herzl. With Herzl's publication "The 
Jewish State" Zionism became more than a religious issue. It 
became an economic and political issue in terms of contemporary 
life and events. It became an answer to anti-Semitism. Neither 
Pinsker nor Herzl, who followed him, thought of Palestine as 
the indispensable land of Zion. To them and to many other 
Jewish leaders, before and after, the question centered upon the 
location, without definite geographical position, of a homeland 
that would give the Jewish people a place and sense of security, 
dignity and settlement. In such a homeland they would be able 
to carry out their national life and culture in their own way 
and without molestation by "Gentiles." 

But in Zionism there is a deep-lying motive. That motive is 
a fear of assimilation by the various nationalities among whom 
the Jews have lived for centuries as secluded and segregated com- 
munities. Such isolation is symbolized by the "Ghetto." And 
to the "Ghetto" Jews are strongly opposed. Zionism is a child 
of the Ghetto and, without the Ghetto mentality, cannot live. 
Zionist leaders who realize this, guard jealously the traditions, 
institutions, and even superstitions that helped to maintain the 
particular qualities of the Ghetto life. They consider, for ex- 
ample, the preservation of Yiddish literature as essential to the 



Jewish state as the revival of Hebrew. And yet Yiddish litera- 
ture is as far from Hebrew life and culture, as portrayed in the 
Old Testament, as the foul air of the Ghetto itself from the 
brisk, exhilarating air of Palestine. 

Since the Great War Zionists have agitated for Palestine on 
what they term a basis of right and not of sufferance. They 
have interpreted the Balfour Declaration as granting them that 

In a masterly article entitled "The Realities of Zionism" pub- 
lished by the Menorah Journal in Nov.-Dec, 1930, Herbert 
Solow describes the various types of Zionism, and shows that 
Zionist leaders have adopted a chameleon-like policy by inter- 
preting Zionism to fit the occasion. In his article he says: "Even 
most extreme Ahad Haamists seemed to have reconciled them- 
selves to the situation, and the Zionist movement has merged 
the concepts of a 'Cultural center' and the Jewish state in the 
vague elastic phrase 'Jewish National Home' which each might 
interpret as he pleased and all might support. This compromise, 
an unstable mixture, was described by chemist Weizmann as 
'Synthetic Zionism' and by him dignified as the new Ideology." 

Will Zionism help to solve the Jewish problem? 

The late Prof. Jastrow warned his people that far from solving 
the Jewish problem, the Zionist agitation for a homeland in 
Palestine will only add intensity to the hatred of the Jews by 
the nationals among whom they live, who would doubt their 
loyalty and invite them to go to their new homeland. The fol- 
lowing is quoted from Professor Jastrow's book "Zionism and 
The Future of Palestine": 

"The Zionistic doctrine as part of the religion lost its 'raison 
d'etre' when the Jews became citizens of the country in which 
they had settled. The social instinct which impels a man to 
have one country also prevents him from having more than one. 
The essence of Reformed Judaism, viewed from the standpoint 
of a student of history, lies precisely here, that it freed Judaism 
and the Jews from the double aspect of being bound both by a 
religious and a political tie." 

Even if the wildest aspirations of the Zionists are realized, 
Palestine will be too small to hold all the Jews, or even an ap- 


preciable number of them, to affect a solution of the Jewish 
problem. As in the days of the Roman Empire, the Jews were 
persecuted because of their "amixia," so the Jews of today are 
persecuted in Europe and disliked in other places because of 
their unwillingness to play the game with the rest of the popu- 
lations in the countries where they happen to be. Whether 
non-assimilation of the Jews is primarily their fault or not, 
Zionists welcome it as a counter-challenge to anti-Semitism. But 
it is this very non-assimilation which is at the root of the "Jewish 
problem" and not the lack of a homeland, as the Zionists 
wrongly assume. Thus Jastrow says: 

"It seems strange indeed to find the Zionists engaged in ex- 
erting every nerve to take a step backward, while the whole 
world seems bent on moving forward. It seems still stranger 
that Zionists should grow enthusiastic over the prospect of estab- 
lishing a Jewish State in a land which can only hold one-tenth 
of the entire number of Jews in the world. It seems strangest 
of all that they should favor a state which necessarily involves 
a recognition of some bond between religion and nationality 
and sets up again the older conception of a nation formed by a 
single nationality, whereas the history of Palestine itself during 
the past 2,000 years points unmistakably to its reorganization 
according to the modern democratic view of the State, based on 
a national unit formed by peoples irrespective of descent or 
ethnic qualities. What is needed is a Palestinian State in which 
all who agree to adhere to the principles on which the country 
of their birth or adoption is to be organized shall have an equal 

Far from solving the Jewish problem, Zionism creates two 
problems where only one had previously existed. Not only does 
it not counteract anti-Semitism in Europe and America, but it 
creates a new hatred of the Jews in a Semitic land and among a 
Semitic people. And this new hatred, unlike the hatred of anti- 
Semitism, has some justification in the natural and legitimate 
national aspiration of the Arabs which Zionism seeks to suppress 
and destroy if possible. The case of Zionism as a solution of 
the Jewish problem is like the case of a certain village idiot in 
the interior of Syria who had the habit of hitting the first one 

[20 1 

he met before him when somebody hit him from behind. The 
Arabs had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, but they were the 
ones to bear the brunt of the reprisal. And the more intense the 
anti-Semitic rage grows, it seems, the more intent the Zionists 
are on "taking it out on the Arabs!" 

Far from solving the Jewish problem, Zionism evades it. 

This interpretation is substantially that of the "Cultural Zion- 
ist" represented by Dr. Magnes of the Hebrew University and 
Asher Ginsberg, who assumed the pen-name of "Ahad-haam" 
or One of the People. It may be added that the Arabs are not 
averse to this school of Zionism which seems at present to have 
been pushed into the background by the more active and ag- 
gressive political and nationalist Zionists, especially the Revision- 
ist followers of Vladimir Jabotinsky. The present crisis in Pal- 
estine would have been prevented had Zionist leaders heeded 
the warning of Chancellor Magnes: 

"The Joshua method is not the way for us of entering the 
Promised Land. The retention of bayonets against the 
will of the majority of the population is repugnant to men 
of good will, and the Eternal People should rather con- 
tinue its long wait than attempt to establish a Home in 
the Holy Land except on terms of understanding and 
Vincent Sheean in his book "Personal History" says of Zion- 
ism: "The Zionist policy was historically without significance. 
It might delude two or three generations of Jews who would be 
better employed in other enterprises; it might humiliate and 
bewilder the Arabs of Palestine and the surrounding Arab prov- 
inces; it might give rise to repeated catastrophes of the kind 
I had just witnessed (in 1929). But in the end it would be 
swallowed up in the larger changes through which the world 
must pass if it was to emerge from chaos and submit to the rule 
of reason . . . Even though the central idea of Zionism came 
from something profoundly established in the Jewish heart, the 
ancient nostalgia for Jerusalem, its political expression was triv- 
ial. A noble emotion had here been adapted to small, shabby 
uses and served no ends but those of imperialism . . . The ex- 
perience in Palestine had abundantly proved: that the Zionist 
policy belonged not to the forces of light but to the forces of 


darkness. It kept an Arab population in subjection for the 
achievement of an end unjustifiable in the logic of history, and 
in its delusion and obfuscation of the Jewish genius it robbed 
the general world of what might have been - what still must 
be~a powerful resource. To fight anti-Semitism on its own 
ground was the duty of every civilized human being, but that 
duty could never be fulfilled by attempting to expropriate a 
part of the Arab world. Two wrongs, in the twentieth as in 
other centuries, were still two wrongs." 


In answering this question one must keep in mind two vary- 
ing interpretations of the biblical prophecy-the Jewish and the 

Taking the latter first we find that the coming of the Messiah 
has already been accomplished in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of 
David and the Incarnation of God, the Logos. The fulfillment 
of the Old Testament prophecies, in so far as they refer to a 
golden age that has not yet materialized in our troubled world, 
is linked in Christian theology with the Second Coming of 
Christ, the Millenial Age and the final Day of Judgment" It 
has nothing to do anymore with the reestablishment of the 
Chosen People in Zion-certainly not as non-believers and defiers 
of the Christ that has come. In the Epistle to the Romans 
(Chaps. 9-11) St. Paul makes this very clear. The true Sons of 
Israel and of the Promise are no more the Jews as such, but all 
those who have believed in Christ and His Gospel of grace. "For 
they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they 
are Abraham's seed, are they all children." (Ro. 9:6 and 7) 
St. Paul makes clear that the defection and lack of faith of the 
Israelites is only for a time, when they will finally believe in 
him and the fullness of grace will have been attained. "For as 
ye in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained 
mercy by their disobedience, even so have these also been dis- 
obedient, that by the mercy shown to you they also may obtain 
mercy (Ro. 11:30 and 31). Any restoration of the Jews to Zion, 


in any political or physical sense was very remote from St. 
Paul's mind. But should such an idea have been present in his 
mind, it is quite obvious that it should be as a reward for faith 
in Christ, and then all the faithful would be considered on a 
footing of equality, as spiritual children of Israel. 

Pious Christians who support Zionism and give it their moral 
and mundane blessings should remember that what the Zionists 
are attempting and what they themselves conceive as the restora- 
tion of Israel are two different things. 

But even on the basis of the Jewish interpretation present-day 
Zionism is far from a fulfillment of the Old Testament proph- 
ecies. Throughout the prophecies about the restoration (Isaiah, 
Zachariah, Micha, Joel, the Psalms) it is made, not only clear, 
but emphatic, that this restoration is to take place through Je- 
hovah's intervention, in a miraculous manner, and after the 
subjugation of the Gentiles. In Isaiah we find reference to 
Cyrus as the "Annointed of Jehovah" at whose hands the restora- 
tion was to take place, thus putting the fulfillment of the proph- 
ecy way in the past. The Maccabees' revolt was also considered 
a fulfillment of such a prophecy. But nowhere in the Old Testa- 
ment is there any reference to a restoration 2,000 years in the 
future, through a "Christian" Power whose very name was not 
known to the prophets of the Old Testament. 

Furthermore, the Old Testament prophets knew nothing of 
Zionists who were atheists, who mocked the very fundamentals 
of Jewish religion, and who were out and out materialists that 
believed not in the soul, the Messiah or life after death. 

We all know that such Zionists today are the ones who are 
making the greatest agitation for the possession of Palestine and 
for making it "as Jewish as England is English." Vincent Shee- 
han, in his "Personal History," speaks of those atheistic Zionists 
to whom the whole spectacle of Jewish and Arab religious fervor 
was a mockery, saying: 

"Being themselves almost completely irreligious, they could 
not understand the intimate, unreasoning passion with which a 
Moslem regards his religion and his shrines." And from the 
pages of his fascinating account of his visit to the Holy Land, 
and his close observations of the riots that followed the Wailing 


Wall incident, it is equally obvious that those Zionists had as little 
understanding of the religious passion of their own Jewish 
people, the Orthodox Jews, mostly Shephardic, who often recoil 
from the modern Zionists and who consider the modern Zion- 
istic interpretation of the "restoration" as an impious and arro- 
gant one. 


The British In Palestine and 
the Balfour Promise 

WITH Arab aid— indispensable under the circumstances— 
the British conquered Palestine from the Turks in 1917- 
1918. For that conquest great honor must be accorded the late 
Colonel Lawrence and King Feisal. 

The country then remained under a military administration 
until July 1, 1920, when a civil administration was set up. 
Finally the land was mandated to Great Britain for an indefinite 

But during the Great War two contradictory situations had 
arisen. First there was the M'Mahon-Hussein Treaty of 1915, 
according to which Great Britain made extensive promises to the 
Sherif Hussein. It was explicitly understood that there should 
be an Arab kingdom embracing what is now Palestine, Syria, 
Iraq and Arabia. In brief there was to be a Pan-Arab kingdom 
regardless of religious affiliations. 

In a letter addressed on July 14th, 1915, to Sir Henry Mac- 
Mahon, King Hussein, who had decided to take up arms on the 
side of the Allies, asked, first, that England should acknowledge 
the independence of the Arab countries bounded on the north 
by Mersina and Adana up to the 27th degree of latitude, on the 
east by the frontiers of Persia up to the Persian Gulf, on the 
south by the Indian Ocean with the exception of Aden, and on 
the west by the Red Sea andthe Mediterranean up to Mersina, 
Palestine thus coming within these boundaries. 

Replying to the above on October 24th, 1915, Sir Henry 
MacMahon wrote: I am empowered in the name of the Gov- 
ernment of Great Britain to give the following assurances: 

"Great Britain is prepared to recognize and support the 
independence of the Arabs within the territories included 
in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sherif. Re- 
garding the Vilayets of Baghdad and Basra, the Arabs will 
recognize that the established position and interests of 
Great Britain necessitate special measures of administra- 


tion and control in order to secure these territories from 
foreign aggression." 

"The Arab forces have redeemed the pledges given to Great 
Britain and we should redeem our pledges," said Lloyd George 
to a Conference in Downing Street on September 19th, 1919, at 
which King Feisal was present. Again, in his speech in the 
House of Commons on June 14th, 1921, the Colonial Secretary, 
reviewing the situation in the Middle East, said: "In order to 
gain the support of the Arabs against the Turks we, in common 
with our Allies, made during the war another series of promises 
to the Arabs of the reconstitution of the Arab nation and, as 
far as possible, of the restoration of Arab influence and authority 
in the conquered provinces." These pledges were given in con- 
sideration of the help which Arabs rendered to the Allies. Arab 
forces under the Emir Feisal worked hand in hand with British 
troops, and hundreds of officers and men under the Arab Prince 
were Arabs of Palestine. 

Furthermore, the Arabs of Palestine were not only friendly 
to the British Army, but actually helped it in its arduous task. 

There was also a secret agreement between Great Britain and 
France, according to which France was to be re-assured as to her 
interests and aspirations in Syria. This agreement was the Sykes- 
Picot Treaty of May 17, 1916. 

Then came the well-known Balfour Declaration of November 
2, 1917. That declaration was a most unwise one because it con- 
flicted with the M'Mahon-Hussein agreement and because it 
made to the Jews promises impossible of fulfillment. Thus the 
British government unfortunately (and perhaps unwittingly) 
made a promise to the Jews incompatible with a previous agree- 
ment with the Arabs. Yet the British went back on their prom- 
ise to the Arabs in the most shameful manner, as pointed out by 
an editorial in The Nation (New York) of September 11, 1929: 

"It was the perversion of all decency, of all standards of com- 
mon good faith and honesty in that struggle (World War) which 
led the war-time British Cabinet, loyal to their belief that any- 
thing which might help win the war was good and justifiable, 
into the career of perfidy which lies behind the bloodshed in 
Palestine today ... In two years the British appear to have prom- 


ised Palestine, which they did not possess, successively to the 
Arabs, the French and the Jews." 

In regard to the Balfour Declaration it is well to quote it 
here in its exact form. It reads: 


Foreign Office. 
November 2nd, 1917. 
Dear Lord Rothschild: 

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His 
Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy 
with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, 
and approved by, the Cabinet : 

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establish- 
ment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, 
and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achieve- 
ment of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing 
shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious 
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or 
the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other 

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to 
the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. 

Yours sincerely, 

Arthur James Balfour 

It is important to note that Balfour promised aid in the 
establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people and 
not the conversion of Palestine to a Jewish National Home. 
The difference is obvious and intentional and not due to a mere 
slip of the pen. This is clearly indicated in a passage men- 
tioned by Asher Ginsberg in his preface to "At the Crossways," 

"All the details of the course of the diplomatic 'conversations' 
in London leading to the Declaration have not yet been pub- 
lished. But the time has come to reveal one 'secret' which will 
enable the reader to understand the real meaning of the Dec- 


" 'To facilitate the establishment in Palestine of a National 
Home for the Jewish people'— this is the text of the promise 
which the British Government has made to us. But this was 
not the text which was proposed to it by the Zionist representa- 
tives. They wished to have it read: 'The reconstitution of Pal- 
estine as the National Home of the Jewish people.' When the 
happy hour arrived for the signing and sealing of the Declaration 
by the Government, it was found to contain the first text instead 
of the second . . . Understanding persons realized at once the 
meaning of this. Others thought there was merely a stylistic 
change. They therefore tried several times thereafter, when- 
ever opportunity presented in their dealings with the Govern- 
ment, to transcribe the promise into the wording as though noth- 
ing had been changed. But every time, they found in the Gov- 
ernment answer a repetition of the text contained in the Dec- 
laration, proving that here was no casual phrase, but that the 
promise was really limited to this formula." 

Vincent Sheean in commenting on the Balfour Declaration in 
his book "Personal History" makes the following statement: 

"Balfour's master hand never did better work than in the 
rubbery phrases of this sentence. The Arab population of Pal- 
estine, outnumbering the Jews then more than ten to one, was 
referred to only as 'the existing non-Jewish population.' The 
whole tone of the sentence was that of generosity to both Jew 
and Arab. The Balfour Declaration seemed to promise the 
Jews everything and seemed to reserve everything for the Arabs, 
at one time and with one twist of the pen. I was to learn in 
Palestine that it had actually given the Jews little, had reserved 
little for the Arabs, and had one certain purpose only: the in- 
stallation of the British as the governing power in the country. ' 
Now it is plain that the above declaration is meaningless un- 
less the phrase "a National Home" is properly interpreted. 
Surely it was not intended that great masses of Jews or other 
outsiders were to be given the sudden right to make their col- 
lective home in a country of only about 10,000 square miles in 
area, especially when that country was already the home of a 
long established population. But plainly the British govern- 
ment could never have envisaged a wholesale descent of many 


hundred thousand Jews from all points of the compass upon a 
land which can scarcely support one million people. 

The Balfour Declaration was a unilateral promise made in 
contravention of an earlier agreement with another party. This 
means that what was first agreed to by British and Arabs for 
the major benefit of the Arabs was afterwards promised to the 
Jews for their indefinite benefit. Palestine was and is more than 
"tt home" to the Arabs. It is their land, and to that land they 
have an inalienable right. To the Jews Palestine is "a home" 
only in the sense that some of their people may live there on 
such land as is not already pre-empted by the native population 
already established there for many generations. The old settlers 
(whether Arabs or Jews) plainly have first title to the country, 
whereas hordes of newcomers of any nationality cannot come 
without robbing the legitimate occupants of "home" and soil. 

But ever since the establishment of the mandate Zionists have 
plainly been motivated by the following desires: (1) to appro- 
priate as much land as possible; (2) to increase immigration to 
such a degree that the majority of the population becomes Jew- 
ish; (3) to withhold all work on Jewish lands from every non- 
Jew. These considerations show clearly that no benefit whatso- 
ever can be derived by the Arab from Jewish colonization and 
immigration. For even if the Arab learns how to improve his 
own agricultural methods he must ultimately, if the Zionist pro- 
gram is fulfilled, become landless and must sooner or later leave 
his homeland. 

Speaking of these Zionist desires and aims Dr. med. T. Canaan 
in his pamphlet "The Palestine Arab Cause" (Jerusalem, 1936), 
page 13, says: 

"What did the Government do to counteract these unjust 
aims? Why was the promise of the 'full protection' of the Arabs 
not carried out? This promise was given in the first report of 
the Civil Government of Palestine: 'The policy of H. M. Gov- 
ernment contemplated the satisfaction of the legitimate aspira- 
tions of the Jewish race throughout the world in relation to 
Palestine, combined with a full protection of the rights of the 
existing population . . . The measures to foster the well-being 
of the Arab should be precisely those which we should adopt 


in Palestine if there were no Zionist question and if there had 
been no Balfour Declaration.' " The above paragraph is 
quoted in translation from Dr. H. Kohn's work: "Nationalisms 
und Imperialismus im Vorderen Orient," page 187.) 

The New York Times in its issue of October 22, 1930, made 
the following editorial comment: 

"Great Britain's new policy in Palestine is a blow at Zionist 
aspirations only in the sense that it registers a verdict already 
pronounced by the facts. The claims of 'Political Zionism' 
were always inadmissible. Neither justice nor the forces of na 
i ionalism let loose by the war, nor Great Britain's pledges to the 
Arab people would tolerate the imposition of Jewish ascendancy 
by high-pressure methods upon a native population four-fifths 
hostile. The Jewish Homeland promised in the Balfour Dec- 
laration was limited in that document by the rights of the Arab 
majority. To all but a small faction of zealots it must have been 
manifest from the first that the building of the Jewish Home- 
land must take the form of colonization." 

The British Government and responsible Zionist organizations 
have repeatedly and consistently refused to insist on a precise 
definition of the Balfour Declaration. The British have failed 
to do so because of their vested interests in Palestine and the 
Near East, and the Zionists because of their hopes of a national 
state in the Holy Land. The British Government seems not to 
have realized that its nominal conquest of Palestine was basically 
for Arab interests (according to its own pronouncements); while 
the Zionists seem to have forgotten that the country was only to 
be "a home" for a small number of orthodox Jews who had gone 
there for religious reasons and had been willing, either to make 
a modest living from the land or to be supported on limited 
funds from their co-religionists. For it must be plain to any 
reasonably informed person that no large alien population in 
Palestine can possibly exist without outside subsidy. 


The Mandate 

TN 1924 the mandates of "Class A" were established for Arab 
*- lands formerly under Turkish sovereignty. In this way Pal- 
estine came to be mandated by Great Britain. It was generally 
understood that the mandate should be temporary until such 
time as the country was able to govern itself. Nothing in the 
mandate gave outsiders an indefinite right to invade the land 
to the detriment of the native population. It was generally 
understood that Great Britain would administer Palestine in 
trust for the Arabs and for such Jews as were there at that time 
(1924). But the British failed to live up to the expectation. 
That the Arabs objected to the administration of the Mandate 
by the British has been very evident from the outset. Criticisms 
of that administration have come from the Council of the League 
of Nations and from various other quarters. 

In public and international law the term "mandate" is rela- 
tively new. The mandatory powers ^themselves have consistently 
evaded clarifying the issue and so we must look elsewhere for 
its true meaning. To those writers who saw the mandate as a 
legal document it was not hard to speculate and give strictly 
juridical meanings to its terms and provisions. But since the 
World Court and other courts have had no occasion to interpret 
any such terms and provisions, the matter must remain a specu- 
lation for writers on history and politics. 

That the mandate was intended as a political and not a legal 
document can be seen from the manner of, and reasons for, its 
creation. Let us look at the surrounding circumstances. 

During the Great War, by secret treaties, three different com- 
mitments were made regarding the ultimate disposal of Palestine. 
In those days and before the Peace Conference all of the small 
and oppressed nations and nationalities were imbued with great 
enthusiasm for their freedom and emancipation. The Allied 
Powers saw to it that the idealism conveyed by the "fourteen 
points" and "self determination" should penetrate to the remot- 
est corners of the earth. It may be remembered that America's 
entry into the War which made victory for the Allies possible, 


was "to make the world safe for democracy" and not to perpe- 
trate imperialism. Woodrow Wilson's idealism had so per- 
meated the social and diplomatic atmosphere of the world that 
subject races began to feel that they would soon be ready to set 
up their own government and determine their own destiny. But 
hardly had the Peace Conference at Versailles got under way 
when various secret treaties came to light. Wilson's basic doc- 
trines were circumvented by the astute statesmen of Europe. 
Great Britain and France were the real masters at Versailles and 
it was not hard for them to dispose of the former German col- 
onies. But when it came to Syria, Palestine and Iraq, which 
countries with the rest of the Arab World, had fought side by 
side with the Allies in order to regain their independence, the 
task was a little harder. The fate of the Arabs had long been 
sealed, but the unjust deal meted out to them could not publicly 
appear as such. The deal handed out to them must appear 
"sugar coated" and easy to take. There was to be no outright 
annexation-at least for the present. Imperialism, ostensibly de- 
nounced by the Allied statesmen, was now to appear in a new 
and beautiful cloak. Imperialism now masqueraded under the 
guise of the "mandate." 

With their hopes shattered and their labor lost, the Arabs 
petitioned Versailles for a final and reasonable request. They 
asked that Syria and Palestine be allowed to remain, as hereto- 
fore, one united country. They asked that only one mandatory 
power be appointed to assist them in the "art" of self govern- 
ment. For a while it appeared as if this reasonable request 
would be granted. Wilson sent the Crane-King Commission to 
the countries in question to conduct a plebiscite. But after a 
long and exhaustive study the report of the Commission was 
pigeon-holed and its recommendations completely disregarded. 
The petition of the Arabs was lost in the general shuffle. The 
imperialists were still in the saddle and their interests were to 
come first. So, Syria went to France and Palestine to Britain. 

By the Treaty of Sevres, August 10, 1920, Turkey renounced 
her sovereignty over Palestine. The Treaty provided that the 
country should be entrusted to a Mandatory Power which should 
carry out the terms of the British Declaration, according to a 


mandate approved by the League of Nations. Previously the 
Supreme Council of the Allied Powers held at San Remo, April, 
1920, had designated Great Britain as the Mandatory Power 
over Palestine. It was not until July 24, 1922, when the council 
of the League of Nations actually approved this arrangement, 
and not until September, 1923, that the Mandate officially Went 
into effect. 

Mr. M. E. Mogannam, a Palestine Arab lawyer, educated in 
the United States, has rendered the following opinion regard- 
ing the legality of the Mandate: 

"It has been the considered opinion of the Arabs ever since, 
they were bound to be placed under the British Mandate, against 
their wishes and without their consent, that the Mandate was 
repugnant to and inconsistent with the terms of Article 22 of 
the Covenant of the League of Nations, which article lays down 
in paragraph 4, that: 

" 'Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish 
Empire have reached a stage of development where their exist- 
ence as "independent nations" can be provisionally "recognized" 
subject to the rendering of administrative "advice and assist- 
ance" by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand 
alone. The "wishes" of these communities "must be a principal 
consideration" in the selection of the Mandatory.' 

"To begin with, the wishes of the Arabs in Palestine were not 
a 'principal consideration in the selection of ihe Mandate,' nor 
were they given any choice or say in the matter. In drafting the 
Mandate the provisional independence of Palestine was com- 
pletely ignored, entirely irrespective of the express provisions of 
an international sanction . . . 

"It may be interesting to say that Article 22 of the Covenant, 
the application of which has been insistently demanded, was 
not originally received with favour by the Arabs. In fact, at the 
First National Arab Congress, which was held in Damascus on 
the 2nd of July, 1919, and attended by accredited representatives 
of all Arab territories, which formed the country commonly 
known as Syria under the Ottoman regime, including Palestine, 
the following resolution was taken: 

" 'As the Arab people of Syria, including Palestine, are not 


lower in civilization than any other of the more advanced na- 
tions, or less civilized than the people of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, 
or Rumania as far as their claim to independence is concerned, 
we protest against Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of 
Nations whereby our country was included amongst the coun- 
tries to be administered under Mandate . . .' 

"That was the view which was held by the Arabs with regard 
to this article. 

"When, however, Syria and Palestine were placed under two 
distinct Mandatory Powers, and the Arab people were faced with 
a 'fait accompli,' they were denied even the application of the 
principles outlined in Paragraph 4 of that article. 

"But considering this point from its legal aspect, it will ap- 
pear that the Palestine Mandate was actually based on Article 22 
of the Covenant, and that from it, it draws its authority. This 
is clear from the preamble of the Mandate itself, which reads, 
in part: 

' 'Whereas the Principal Allied Powers agreed, for the pur- 
pose of giving effect to the provisions of Article 22 of the Cov- 
enant of the League of Nations, to entrust to a Mandatory 
selected by the said Powers, the administration of the territory 
of Palestine which formerly belonged to the Turkish Em- 
pire . . .' 

"ft is likewise clear that the provisions of the Mandate can- 
not, and should not, be repugnant to, or inconsistent with, the 
provisions of paragraph 4 of Article 22, following the doctrine 
that no law or ordinance enacted by any State should be repug- 
nant to the terms or stipulations of the constitution of that 

"Many provisions of the Mandate are indeed repugnant to, or 
inconsistent with, Article 22 of the Covenant, under which Pal- 
estine's existence as an independent nation was provisionally 
recognized. To quote some of many examples, Article 1 of the 
Mandate gives the Mandatory 'full powers of legislation and of 
administration.' This power is beyond any doubt in direct 
conflict with the terms of Article 22 which limits the authority 
of the Mandatory to 'Administrative advice and assistance until 
such time as they are able to stand alone.' 


"Article 2 entitles the Mandatory to 'secure the establishment 
of the Jewish National Home.' . . . This power is not only incon- 
sistent with the terms of Article 22, but also with the expressed 
provisions of Article 20 of the Covenant, under which members 
of the League severally agreed to accept the Covenant as 'abro- 
gating all obligations or undertakings inter-se which are incon- 
sistent with the terms thereof.' Such 'obligations or undertak- 
ings' include the Balfour Declaration which was given before 
this convention, but was, nevertheless, embodied in the preamble 
of the Mandate. 

"Article 3 of the Mandate is also repugnant to Article 22 of 
the Covenant, in that it is not a question of 'encouraging local 
autonomy,' but of making provisions for the 'provisional recog- 
nition of the independence of Palestine subject to the rendering 
of administrative advice and assistance.' The same remarks may 
equally apply to Article 12, 15, and 16, which give powers to the 
Mandatory which cannot be construed to fall within the mean- 
ing intended by the term 'administrative advice and assistance.' 

"It is clear that taken as a whole, this instrument, in letter and 
in spirit, vests powers in the Mandatory which, by law and by 
virtue of the authority on which it was based, cannot be con- 
ferred; and in so far as it is considered inconsistent with Articles 
20 and 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, it must be 
regarded as 'Ultra Vires.' 

Although the provisions of the Mandate were intended to be 
consistent with Article 22 of the Covenant there arc many incon- 
sistencies. Moreover, certain clauses of the Mandate text are 
ambiguous and mutually contradictory. Let legal experts puzzle 
over them! 

The following may be clearly deduced as the intent and pur- 
port of the Mandate: 

(a) Palestine is in a position of semi-independence as a state. 
Its inhabitants are Palestinian nationals and not British. 

(b) Palestine is not a British dominion or crown colony. Its 
territory rightly belongs to its own inhabitants and in no way 
to Great Britain. Nor should Great Britain absorb the land into 
her possessions. 

(c) It was intended that representative government should 


be set up to administer the country and that the Mandatory 
should be subordinate and concerned only with help and advice 
to the native population. 

(d) The Mandatory is a guardian and trustee for a ward and 
accountable as such. 

(e) The Mandate, by its very terms, is not perpetual and may 
be terminated at any time. 

(1) The chief concern of the Mandate should be (and is) 
with the inhabitants (as wards) and not with the Mandatory 

Thus, the Mandatory, in its administration of Palestine, must 
be judged by its record of fulfilling, or failing to fulfill, the above 

While Great Britain in Iraq and Transjordan, and France 
in Syria, have from the beginning of their mandates established 
a representative government in those countries, yet Great Britain 
has refused to grant Palestine even a semblance of such govern- 
ment. The two offers to create a legislative council, with hall 
of its members to be appointed by the High Commissioner (to 
whom there was reserved also the power of veto over any and all 
acts of the legislative council) were little more than a sham. So 
Palestine is actually being administered by autocratic rule and 
dictatorship. Under that rule various penalties are being im- 
posed upon the population in a manner, and to a degree, un- 
worthy of even an uncivilized nation. Whole towns and villages 
are fined singly and collectively for relatively trivial offences. 

In accepting the responsibility of the Mandate, and in as- 
suming the obligations of a guardian and a trustee, Great Brit- 
ain should be held to a strict accountability. Great Britain 
should have guarded the property of her ward instead of render- 
ing all public concessions to alien exploiters. Nor should she 
have imposed preferential duties on British goods nor have un- 
duly protected recent Jewish industries. Such a tariff policy has 
cost Palestine and its natives thousands of pounds sterling an- 

Moreover, the British Government has failed to live up to its 
obligations in failing to supply sufficient schools and sufficient 
employment for natives. That government has placed ill-quali- 


fied Englishmen in posts which could have been filled by better 
qualified Arabs, many of whom were educated in England and 
other western European countries. Further, such British em- 
ployees are often paid exorbitant salaries as contrasted with the 
salaries paid to minor Arab officials. Nor is this all. All such 
salaries come ultimately out of the revenue and resources of 
Palestine itself. Palestine pays for British officialdom—not 

No! Under the British Mandate Palestine has enjoyed neither 
peace nor security. That Mandate has been exercised, not for 
justice to the original population, but for British imperial in- 
terests, and for Zionist interests, aided and abetted by self-inter- 
ested Britain. This is a sad record not without hope of correc- 
tion. Perhaps the Zionists the world over are equally to blame. 
Have the Zionists, themselves, come into court with clean hands? 

No! The fact is that Great Britain is in Palestine, not to 
protect the interests of the native population, but to protect and 
perpetuate her own. In fostering Zionism Great Britain has 
sown the seed of internecine strife among native Palestinians 
(regardless of origin and current creed); has caused needless fric- 
tion between natives and recent immigrants; and has caused her^ 
self a grave risk of losing her prestige as the foremost power 
among imperialist nations. 

Now, after nearly twenty years of British administration of 
Palestine, it is high time that Britain should give an accounting 
of its stewardship. However, reports from Geneva indicate that 
Britain has refused to accede to the request of the Mandates 
Commission and submit a report regarding the current revolt. 
All previous reports to the Mandates Commission were reluc- 
tantly given and were far from complete. Will the League assert, 
its power or will it give another demonstration of its impotence? 
Which will it be? Will the League wreck Imperialism or Impe- 
rialism the League and with it the hopes of humanity? 


The Present Revolt in Palestine 

T)RIOR to the current revolt in Palestine (1936) there were 
J- four others. The previous disturbances occurred in April 
1920, May 1921, August 1929, and October 1933. 

The present uprising started on April 19, 1936, when two Arab 
watchmen in an orange-grove were killed by Jews in retaliation 
ior the killing of two Jews by highway robbers. These trifling 
incidents were but the spark that started a general conflagration. 
They were the last straw that broke the camel's back. But there 
were numerous grievances and predisposing causes which had 
paved the way and, unless these are thoroughly understood and 
adequately recognized, little hope can be entertained for ending 
the present revolt and preventing future disturbances. 

Zionist propagandists who have persistently failed to face the 
facts in Palestine have ascribed previous disturbances to the 
machinations of effendis, feudal landlords and mischievous agi- 
tators. During the present revolt this "explanation" was found 
inadequate and "foreign propaganda," particularly Italian pro- 
paganda, was offered as an additional cause. Italian influence 
is at this time particularly dangerous to British prestige in the 
Mediterranean. It is believed that such influence is a convenient 
scape-goat and one that will alienate the sympathy of British 
public opinion toward the Arab cause. 

The present revolt is definitely the revolt of a majority to de- 
fend its inalienable rights against an arrogant and militant 
minority— the Zionists. 

The feverish haste with which Jewish immigrants have been 
rushed into Palestine clearly indicates the deliberate design of 
the Zionists to create a Jewish majority and secure complete po- 
litical control. In fact, at the present speed, they are fast reach- 
ing their goal-"the Jewish State." Nor did the repeated peace- 
ful protests, delegations to London, and revolts bring more than 
Commissions of Investigation, only to have their recommenda- 
tions completely buried in the archives of Downing Street and 
ignored by a stubborn Colonial Office which blindly persisted in 
administering the country for the advantage of the Zionists and 


the disadvantage of the Arabs. The best that the British Gov- 
ernment ever offered were a few vague promises and these were 
never fulfilled. Is it any wonder, then, that the Arab, finding 
himself the victim of an aggressive Zionist policy backed by a 
vigorous Imperialistic British policy and even by British bayo- 
nets, should now be completely out of patience and stirred to 
open rebellion? 

As in most other countries, the majority of the inhabitants oi 
Palestine are plain peasant folk. Their main interest centers 
around their home and family. They are hard working and 
honest. The subtle policies of Downing Street and the Zionist 
Organization spell ruin and futility to them. They see their 
best land rapidly passing to alien hands, their brothers and 
friends dispossessed from land and home, their sons and daugh- 
ters out of work, Englishmen and alien Jews occupying the posi- 
tions which are legitimately theirs. The grim realities of life 
and the struggle for existence haunt them like a nightmare; a 
gloomy future with the prospect of being forced by alien hordes 
to "trek along" from the land they occupied for centuries. Who 
can keep cool and moderate under such circumstances? Youth 
in particular sees this picture and with his vitality, energy, and 
resurgent hope, but only too aware of what faces him on coming 
to manhood, should this Zionist encroachment continue. There- 
fore it is youth that has assumed a dominant role in the present 
revolt, motivated primarily by the instinct of self preservation. 

It was oppression and tyranny that brought" on the American 
and French revolutions, and it is a similar oppression that has 
led to the disturbances and revolts in Palestine. 

Indeed, a century and a half after the Boston Tea Party, the 
British in the hills and valleys of Palestine hear voices and echoes 
of Arab Youth reiterating "No taxation without representation" 
and "Give me liberty or give me death." 


Arab Claims and Demands 

THE claim of the Arabs to their native land is based first 
upon prior occupancy of Palestine. The Arabs and their 
co-Semites who were there before the Great War have a title 
valid for many past centuries. They feel that Palestine is their 
land and not the property of hordes of immigrants. Indeed the 
Arabs themselves have long been impatient with the unsettled 
international status of their country. They merely ask for inde- 
pendence, self-determination and the right to decide their own 
destiny. They merely ask for what many small nations received 
after the Peace Treaty— namely strict autonomy. Such auton- 
omy, they feel, is indispensable to their national interests. For 
with the Arabs it is as with other formerly subject peoples. 
Either they must stand on their own feet or revert to the status 
of a subject people. They propose to stand on their own ground 
regardless of the Mandate; regardless of imperialism; regardless 
of Zionism. 

Specifically the Arabs claim the following: 

(a) That their land be returned to them, in fee simple, free of 
mandates and alien intervention and intrigues. 

(b) That they shall no longer be the victims of political and 
nationalistic Zionism. 

(c) That they are fully competent to administer their own affairs; 

to set up their own government; to stand as a sovereign state. 

(d) That they do not now, nor will they in the future, oppress 
non-Arabs in their country, regardless of their nationality, 
racial origin or religious beliefs. Nor will they, after they 
regain their autonomy, be hostile to Great Britain or any 
other Power. 

(e) That they will take their place among the civilized com- 
munity of nations and be honorable members of a truly new 
world order. 

These just claims and the ever increasing sources of irritation 


have led the Arab to formulate the following definite, unequiv- 
ocal demands: 

(1) That further immigration be stopped. 

(2) That further sale of land to aliens be stopped. 

(3) That a genuine representative government be permitted 
and forthwith set up. 

(d) That the Mandate be terminated as soon as possible. 

Can anyone, properly informed about current conditions in 
Palestine, doubt that these claims and demands are well within 
the bounds of reason? 

41 ] 


Whether Palestine 

V\7HAT will become of Palestine, the Holy Land, focus o£ 

VV religious and moral culture? What will become of the 
land sacred to Christians, Jews and Moslems alike? For, the 
peoples professing the three great religions have such a vested, 
spiritual, interest in the preservation of the land of Palestine as 
"a home" for its legitimate original occupants and settlers, and 
as a sanctuary to which the followers of the three great religions 
may turn in pilgrimage, as John H. Finley once advocated. 

Palestine is a spiritual Palladium; a hallowed place; a little 
region which ought to be regarded as a strictly autonomous area 
free from alien domination and the profane concerns of mun- 
dane imperialism. Neither the secular power of Great Britain, 
nor the nationalistic thrust of a false Zionism, nor Moslem ex- 
ciusiveness should dictate the fortunes of this small and peaceful 
land. Palestine is in effect a modern state, capable of autonomy 
and ready to take its place among the many other sovereign states 
whose independence is unquestioned. 

All civilized countries have long effected a divorce between 
Church and State. But for Zionism, that eminently desirable 
condition would now be realized in Palestine. The next step 
should be a divorce between Imperialism and State Autonomy. 
Palestine is weary of its enforced religious and imperialistic 
partners— partners unsolicited and uninvited. 

As for the Jews, perhaps it is not too much to expect that the 
conscience of World Jewry will disavow the injustice and cruel- 
ties incidental to the persistence of political and chauvinistic 

As for Great Britain, perhaps it is not too much to hope that 
she has not sold her reputation for justice to the highest bidder. 
Will she submit much longer to Zionist pressure and remain a 
victim of her own imperialistic habits? 

Is it too much to hope that Great Britain will give up the 
Mandate? With a free and independent Palestine, British anc! 
Arabs will again become friends and allies in the cause of peace. 
Once more let there be heard: "Peace on Earth, Good Will to 
Men" in the land where the Prince of Peace, Himself, was born. 



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[ 18